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Extra info for Defining Southern Literature: Perspectives and Assessments, 1831-1952

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The Southern Renascence continued in the 1930s with Faulkner and Wolfe and Tate as major contributors, with strong new voices like Porter and Gordon, with playwrights like Green and Hellman, Proletariannovelists like Grace Lumpkin and Fielding Burke, strong black voices such as Hurston and Wright and Sterling Brown, popular or controversial writers like Mitchell and Caldwell, and then with more new strong voices like Welty, Agee, and McCullers at the end of the decade. It was a richly diverse 34 INTRODUCTION period.

No modern novel embodies description which can compare with this, in interest. Nor is the scene of the murder of Forrester, and the visit of Rivers to the wronged Ellen, inferior to the powerful sketches which precede them. The language is impassioned, but it is never over-wrought. When Rivers informs the devoted girl whom he has forsaken, and whose peace he has destroyed forever, of his approaching nuptials with another, the victim recalls him to a sense of his cruelty. He reproves her rashly, and bids her cease her repinings.

There is, too, a fine tone of moral reasoning-a deep knowledge of the human heart and its impulses of good or evil, running through the volumes, which stamp them as the product of correct observation and “Guy Rivers,” The Knickerbocker 4 [August 1834): 145-49. 53 54 LEWIS GAYLORD CLARK vigorousthought. In the several episodes-introduced withease and grace-we are reminded of the truth of Byron’s observation, that a drop of ink falling upon a paper, may set ten thousand to thinking-for there is matter in many a space which could hardly have exhausted a pen-full, in which terse and metaphysical reasoning indicates the full mind, and provokes, per force, the thoughtful regard of the reader.

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